Vienna Shorts is going big on its 20th edition

©Vienna Shorts

For its anniversary edition 1-6 June, the festival is not only offering more and higher doted awards, but more festival locations and free entrance for under-20-year-olds

With the pandemic officially over, Vienna Shorts might not give up on its parallel online programming, once again going from 1-30 June, but the on-location festival edition is going all in. Running from 1-6 June, festival directors Doris Bauer and Daniel Hadenius-Ebner have announced the screening of 340 short films from 58 countries around the world in 90 curated programmes at six locations. About two-thirds of the shorts will celebrate their Austrian premiere at the festival.

“What has been created here over the last 20 years is an almost surreal success story”, Bauer and Hadenius-Ebner exclaimed in advance of this special edition. Not only is the festival in 2023 part of two European-Union-funded networks and a qualifier for the Austrian Film Awards, the British BAFTA, the European Film Awards and the Oscars, since 2022 it also carries the Austrian Eco Label. A further reason for joy is the increased funding. The budget for the awards has increased by 5.000 Euro to 30.000 Euro in total, the Kameraverband AAC is sponsoring a new award for best image composition in the Fiction & Documentary competition, festival partner Blautöne and viennaFX a new award for Best Sound in the Austrian Competition.

Following this year’s theme “Just A Moment, Please!”, the shorts will cover topics such as Artificial Intelligence and the climate crisis, but also retrospectives for special guests such as US artists Kevin J. Everson, Claudrena N. Harold, as well as Austrian filmmaker Christiana Perschon. Everson, who portrays daily life for African Americans in the Mid-West and the South of the US, will showcase two short film programmes and an installation of his eight-hour documentary “Park Lanes”. His cooperation with fellow guest Harold, “Black Fire”, on the life of black students and workers, will also be discussed in the artist’s master class. Harold will participate in the MQ-Artist-in-Residence-Programme. Perschon will present a collection of her artist portraits, which are all influenced by questions of perception, sight and the debate, of how an observed entity can be portrayed.

Isolde Maria Joham
© Bildwerden (Christiana Perschon)

The programme further offers a mix of new talents and the works of established filmmakers and classics by Ruben Östlund, Agnès Varda or Miguel Gomes. It also includes two focus programmes, curated by partner festivals in Italy, the Lago Film Fest, and Lithuania, the Vilnius International Short Film Festival. The Filmarchiv Austria will include amateur snippets from their programme “Zeitenwende 1938”, showing footage from the Austrian annexation by Hitler in 1938.

To encompass all these different programme highlights, Vienna Shorts also had to expand in size. There will be two new locations for screenings, the Blickle Kino at Belvedere 21 and an as an Open Air cinema repurposed truck at MuseumsQuartier, going under the name “Milieukino”, milieu cinema. Furthermore, the festival as well as the city of Vienna are aiming at bringing more young people back to the cinema. Therefore, as an anniversary special, everyone under the age of 20 showing an ID at the box office can access the screenings for free.

The projects “Jugendliche kuratieren” (Youth Curates) and the Youth Jury will be extended by five programmes. A programme titled “Kurze Filme gegen lange Weile” (Short films against boredom) is a family programme for youngsters starting at age 4, and there will be two school screenings and two screenings in cooperation with “Kino und Krawall”, the young film club at Stadtkino.

The festival app already offers three films per week for free until the festival kick-off. Attendees during the first week of June will have the option of choosing either a physical and online festival pass (25 Euro) or an online pass only (10 Euro). There is also the option to catch up on anything missed on location via the festival app or the film portal. Tickets can be purchased on location or via the app. Single tickets will be obtainable for 9,50 Euro, Blickle Kino and Milieukino for 5 Euro.

The juries for the festival are:

Animation Avantgarde (AA): Giovanna Thiery (DE), Stefan Stratil (AT), Olga Brobowska (PL)
Fiction & Documentary (FIDO): Daniella Shreir (UK), Greg de Cuir Jr. (USA), Fabian Eder (AT)
Austrian Music Video Award (MUVI): Dorian Concept (AT), Douwe Diikstra (NL), Morena Faverin (IT)
Austrian Competition: Cis Bierinckx (BE), Katrin Mundt (DE), Bianca Jasmina Rauch (A